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Good morning,

Welcome back to Strait Up, our weekly newsletter that makes sense of what’s going on in Southeast Asia.

A consoling adage for people who are late is: “better late than never”. But this week’s stories show the massive repercussions of being late, whether in crafting new laws, reforming old systems, or reversing policy decisions.

In Vietnam, struggling airlines are trying to find their footing after the pandemic. But the government’s refusal to remove an eight-year-old price ceiling on domestic air tickets is hampering recovery. In the Philippines, the government is finally showing more openness towards legalising motorcycle taxis, but it may be too late as a lot of drivers are now unwilling to sign up. And finally, in the Philippines, the government’s delays in reforming the generous military pension scheme may cause a mass exodus from the armed forces.

Let’s dive in.

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